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John F. "Jack" Sponsel

February 13, 1938 - January 31, 2018

MUNCIE – John F. “Jack” Sponsel, 79, died Wednesday, January 31, 2018 in the Intensive Care Unit at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

He was born February 13, 1938 in Batesville, the youngest son of Dr. Emmett A. and Alberta K. (Litz) Sponsel. Jack was very active as a young man. He played baseball, basketbal…READ MORE

MUNCIE – John F. “Jack” Sponsel, 79, died Wednesday, January 31, 2018 in the Intensive Care Unit at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

He was born February 13, 1938 in Batesville, the youngest son of Dr. Emmett A. and Alberta K. (Litz) Sponsel. Jack was very active as a young man. He played baseball, basketball, and ran cross-country at school in both Warsaw and Richmond. In the summer, he was a life guard at Springwood Lake in Richmond and enjoyed hunting and fishing with his father and friends.

In his senior year of high school, he suffered a life changing event. While tumbling in gym class, he broke his neck and was paralyzed from the neck down. He was only expected to live another 20 years. After several years of therapy and rehabilitation, he gradually regained partial use of his arms and hands. Eventually, after encouragement of family, friends and his physical therapist, Olevia Cascadden, he began to think of the future, and plan his life around his disability. He decided to get a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, specializing in social work, thanks to Olevia, and he joined his older brother Emmett in Muncie as a Ball State student.   After earning his undergraduate degree in 1964, and subsequently working for several years at Norman Beatty Mental Hospital in Westville, he decided to enroll as a graduate student at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He graduated in 1968 with a master’s degree in psychiatric social work, living through the violent Detroit Riots.

In 1970, while working at Maxey Boys Training School in Whitmore Lake, Michigan, her received a job offer from  Howard Community Hospital in Kokomo, at its new Mental Health Center. After 10 years of work at the Mental Health Center and at the age of 41, he suffered a heart attack and was sent to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis for open heart surgery. Only a few months later he returned to work and continued for several more years before retiring to Muncie where his brother was now employed at Ball State. Jack renewed an old friendship with his high school buddy, Larry Schuerman, and with Larry’s immeasurable help returned to hunting and fishing. Jack bought a large bass boat and enjoyed annual fishing trips to Lake Erie with Larry and friends.

Jack’s brother Emmett retired early from Ball State and the two travelled extensively around the Midwest, often with members of the Central Indiana Old Car Club. He would frequently travel to Indianapolis in his specially-equipped Oldsmobile for shopping sprees with his sister, RuthAnn and enjoyed spending time with her husband Michael and growing family. In 2013, he suffered an aortic aneurysm and was rushed to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where he underwent a successful surgery. Unfortunately, his health continued to decline after that ordeal.

Jack’s life was an inspiration to everyone he encountered. His drive to live an independent life, regardless of his disability, the desire to succeed at whatever task he needed to do, no matter how long it took, made him an extraordinary person.

He is survived by his brother, Emmett C. Sponsel; sister, RuthAnn (Sponsel) Caylor and husband Michael G. Caylor and their children: Scott Caylor, (wife Jodi & children Isabelle, Allison & Emma); Amyanne (Caylor) Goddard, (husband Joshua Goddard & children Zachary, Kaitlyn & Linkyn) and Megan (Caylor) Martin (husband Derek Martin).

Friends may call at The Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Mt. Pleasant Chapel, 7901 W. Isanogel Road, Muncie from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, 2018. Celebration of life services will be held at 3:00 p.m.

The Meeks Mortuary and Crematory, Mt. Pleasant Chapel, 7901 W. Isanogel Road, Muncie is in charge of arrangements and online condolences may be sent to the family at www.meekmortuary.com.

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